The promotion of women to senior positions in the legal profession is of keen interest to AWLA. The retention and advancement of women lawyers is also a key issue in the broader legal community – with NZLS reporting that while approximately 61% of women working in firms with more than one practitioner are women, women make up less than 31% of partners or directors in those firms.
This is not a new issue. In 2012 AWLA commissioned a research report to explore the reasons for the scarcity of women at senior levels in large law firms. The resulting report can be viewed here.
Visibility of the proportion of women in partnership across a range of firms is an important part of drawing attention and accountability to the progress that is or is not being made to address this inequity.
For this reason, AWLA has compiled information about the proportion of women partners across a range of firms, and their promotion in recent years, in the below table.
The first version of this table was published in 2020, and reflected a breakdown of promotions since 1 January 2015. We have now updated this table to reflect a breakdown of promotions since 1 July 2016, and will keep it updated on annual basis as at 1 July.
Total partnership numbers are based on publically available information on each firm’s website. To reflect the work firms may have been doing in recent years to promote more women to partnership (either internally or through lateral hires), we have also asked each firm to provide us with information about the numbers of partners promoted since 1 January 2015 and the proportion of these that are women. We have also asked each firm to provide a breakdown of how many partners are non-equity partners, and how many of those are women. Where no information appears, these firms haven’t provided us that information. Lastly, we have recorded whether each firm is a signatory of NZLS’s Gender Equality Charter. Under the Charter, signatories commit to actively working to increase gender equality and inclusion in senior roles. Further information about the basis of reporting is at the bottom of this page.
We hope that this information is useful to you. From our perspective, it shows that we still have a long way to go to achieve gender parity in partnership in the legal profession, but there is also some good work being done to achieve this goal.
If you have any questions or comments about the information on this page – including any suggestions about other firms you think we should include – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promotion of Women
|wdt_ID||Firm||Total Partners||Women Partners||% Total Women Partners||Total New Partners (Since 1 Jul 2016)||Total New Women Partners (Since 1 Jul 2016)||% Total New Women Partners (since 1 Jul 2016)||% Women Partners that are Non-Equity Partners||% Men Partners that are Non-Equity Partners||Gender Equality Charter Signatory|
|2||Minter Ellison Rudd Watts||45||16||36||13||6||46||0%||0%||✔|
|8||Dentons Kensington Swan||32||13||41||14||9||64||0%||0%||✔|
|Firm||Total Partners||Women Partners||% Total Women Partners||Total New Partners (Since 1 Jul 2016)||Total New Women Partners (Since 1 Jul 2016)||% Total New Women Partners (since 1 Jul 2016)||% Women Partners that are Non-Equity Partners||% Men Partners that are Non-Equity Partners||Gender Equality Charter Signatory|
|grey||Did not respond or declined to participate|
Basis of reporting:
- Total partner numbers are current as at 26 July 2021 as published on firms’ websites.
- Information regarding promotions since 1 July 2016 and non-equity partnership was received between 17 June and 15 July 2021 and is current as at receipt.
- Gender Equality Charter signatory status is current as at 26 July 2021 as published on the NZLS website.